The Shadow Box Essay

Michael Cristofer
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In the following essay excerpt, Kelley explores how characters in The Shadow Box deal with imminent death, showing that how the characters view death defines their existence.

During the late 1970's, a spate of plays with main characters who are dying appeared. The shift of focus in these works—from death to dying by terminal illness—substantiates one character's claim in The Shadow Box that "there's a huge market for dying people right now." This market is not only "huge," but also fairly new, since progressive, long-term diseases are a comparatively recent development, ironically linked with scientific advances.

This rise of science has altered not only the way we die but also the way we approach death. Although science has replaced religion as a dominant force in Western society, it does not meet the emotional and psychological needs of either the dying person or the survivors. It does...

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This section contains 1,246 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Shadow Box Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Shadow Box from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.